Our last day in New York we had to check out of our hotel by noon, so we just went to breakfast and took one last walk through the park. In the park, we found the checkers and chess house and sat down for a couple of games. Then we walked back to our hotel to retrieve the car and load up our luggage. I braced myself for the exciting drive out of the city, but it was not nearly as bad as the drive in. I don’t know if I was just used to it by then or if it really was less treacherous, but either way, I was spared a heart attack. We missed a turn after we were out of the city that took us 20 miles south of where we wanted to be. And it wasn’t even a pretty detour. That put us an hour later than planned, so we started getting hungry for lunch. We found this Italian restaurant that is worth mentioning called, “Paisanos” in Stewartsville, NJ. It was delicious. They serve homemade breads and pasta sauces that were really great. There was olive oil for dipping your bread, and I liked it so much that I asked the lady for advice on how to pick a good dipping oil. She said for dipping she always uses virgin instead of extra virgin olive oil because of the milder flavor. We really enjoyed that meal and I strongly recommend it if you happen to be in Stewartsville!
Our next stop was Allentown, PA, where we have family. It was a welcome change of pace from NYC. We stayed with Karen, Dan, and Abby the dog, who provided endless entertainment for the kids. I’m certain they will all need a serious recovery day after we leave. We ate dinner then attended a birthday party for little Sarah, who was turning one. I met all kinds of family members, whose names I hope to master before we leave.
Tip of the day: If you drive a minivan or other vehicle with a deep trunk area, organize some of your smaller items into clear plastic containers. No matter how carefully you pack, you will frequently end up digging in the back for the thing you are looking for. We made a stop at Target after digging for items one too many times. We put all of our snack food into one (it was previously in several reusable grocery bags.), laundry detergent, stain stick, and dish soap into another, and the camelbaks into a larger one. It is much easier to remove a few bins than a whole bunch of loose items.